June 14 (UPI) -- The European community could reaffirm its world leadership position on the clean energy front by raising the bar for renewables, a commissioner said Thursday.
The European Commission said it was setting a new bar for renewable energy use with a 32 percent target for 2030, with an additional consideration for further revisions in 2023. The governing body said this step puts more strength behind European President Jean-Claude Juncker's ambition for Europe to become the world leader in renewable energy use.
"This new ambition will help us meet our Paris agreement goals and will translate into more jobs, lower energy bills for consumers and less energy imports," Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said in a statement. "I am particularly pleased with the new European target of 32 percent."
Juncker has said that it was Europe that set the rules of the game with the ratification of the multilateral Paris climate agreement. A directive from 2009 set a binding target of 20 percent final energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020.
The European body earlier this year said it would work on agreements to monitor emissions of carbon dioxide, a potent greenhouse gas, and consumption from trucks, buses and coaches. It's the first effort ever made in the European Union for those types of vehicles.
Further measures on the agenda called for the establishment of a common classification system to determine what constitutes sustainable finance and where it can make the most impact. Elsewhere, the commission is working to determine a labeling system to identify green financial products so that investors can more easily comply with the low-carbon agenda.
"We are making this transition to a modern and clean economy taking into account the differences in the energy mix and economic structures across the EU," the commission's latest statement read.
The new targets await approval from the European Parliament.